I’ve been a reader of Time magazine since I was a kid. For about half a century now, the publication has locked itself into an anti-gun editorial stance. In the August 6, 2012 edition, the cover story was “How Guns Won: Why Americans Have Turned Against Gun Control,” by Joe Klein. The magazine opens with managing editor Richard Stengel opining that “…politicians have abdicated responsibility on even common sense measures – like the now lapsed assault weapons ban that Bill Clinton signed in 1994 – that a majority of Americans would support.”
It makes the reader wonder if he actually read Mr. Klein’s article.
He must have, because he says of Klein’s findings, “Violent gun-related deaths have been declining for the past 20 years. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans in favor of stricter gun control has dropped by almost half.” But perhaps he missed the part where Klein wrote of the gun control cause, “It also didn’t help that there was no clear evidence that the assault-weapons ban had accomplished anything.”
The gun issue is one of our nation’s most polarized debates. Klein noted, and Stengel seemed to reluctantly accept, that “the percentage of Americans in favor of stricter gun control has dropped by almost half.” The title of John Lott’s excellent book “More Guns, Less Crime” says it all, but it’s counter-intuitive to those who try to stuff complicated issues like violent crime into oversimplified pigeon-holes such as “gun control.”
The August 6 issue of Time reminds us that oversimplified answers to complicated questions are so attractive, that they survive in the face of overwhelming evidence that they don’t work.